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Volunteering and Civil Protection

Without volunteers, our society would not be what it is. Volunteers everywhere do valuable work for the good of their fellow people. We need this voluntary commitment now and in future – not least because of numerous
structural changes in our society. The contributions volunteers in Germany make to civil protection and disaster assistance are one of the most important and most stable supporting pillars in the architecture of civil protection.

Stories about Volunteering

First aid for the soul, cold-weather support, volunteer fire services and volunteering abroad: four volunteers from throughout Germany describe their own very personal paths to civil protection.

A Wide Variety of Volunteering Options

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providing support  

Crisis Intervention

First aid for the soul – those providing emergency pastoral care are there for casualties, family members and emergency personnel alike. No matter whether there is an accident, a domestic fire or flooding, volunteers who work in emergency pastoral care and crisis intervention support other people in difficult situations in life.

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interpreting

Integration/Interpreting

Language is the key to the world – this is particularly evident for refugees and recent immigrants. Everyday life in our society often presents them with major challenges. That is why help with integration requires empathetic volunteers who act as interpreters and translators.

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diving

Water Rescue

Strong swimmers in very good shape and with technical expertise are the sort of people needed in the event of flooding. They evacuate and rescue people and animals from flooded areas. Diving, lifesaving and boating capabilities are the three essential pillars of water rescue.

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transporting

Logistics

Everything flows – including goods and materials for exercises, missions and day-to-day duties. Logistics professionals and people with a natural talent for organisation and transportation fear neither long distances nor complex processes – and make sure that food, spare parts and electricity reach their destinations safely.

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putting out fires  

Disaster Control

112 – every child in Germany is familiar with this phone number. But not everybody knows that around 95 percent of the firefighters in Germany belong to volunteer organisations. However, volunteers do far more than put out fires. They also turn out reliably in the event of severe storms, floods and traffic accidents.

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lending a hand

Rescue/Recovery

From level-headed to furry helpers – people, animals and technology all work together to recover and rescue injured people and animals from danger zones. Volunteers keep their cool as they extricate people from emergency situations in the field, from under debris and from the water.

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providing care

Medical Service/Care

Medical competence coupled with diplomatic skills – this characterises the ideal volunteer. Whether during sports events, concerts, street festivals or in emergencies: caring for and treating injured or uninjured people affected by the incident are essential in turbulent situations.

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planning

Technical Assistance

People who are not afraid of heavy equipment operate power generators, machinery and hydraulic equipment in the event of fire, water or storm damage. Planning, securing, lifting, moving: technical assistance relies as much on machinery as on skilful volunteers with technical knowledge.

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teaching

Training

Asking questions is how we learn more – this is also true of civil protection. Thanks to comprehensive training provided by experienced educational problem-solvers, volunteers find out the answers to all their questions. Teaching and explaining are the basis for a broad spectrum of qualifications among volunteers.

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listening  

Communication

Effective communicators with digital and analogue skills – civil protection also requires deskwork. From administrative to marketing tasks: volunteers provide the right information at the right time via various communications channels.

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catering

Catering

Helping makes you hungry – which is why we need cooking experts who know how to satisfy empty stomachs. While field kitchens and pea stew are traditional solutions, they make up only a small part of the large variety of options offered by catering personnel. These volunteers are on site after missions and exercises to cater for emergency personnel.

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repairing

Maintenance

Equipment, technical aids and vehicles aren’t everything – but we can’t get much done without them. Everything has to work when it needs to and be in perfect shape at any given time. Repairing, servicing and maintaining equipment are therefore highly sought-after capabilities in civil protection.

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Organisations

Private relief organisations and public bodies cooperate closely on civil protection matters. They provide aid quickly when it counts: in the event of fires, disasters and emergencies. It is only this very close and effective cooperation that ensures optimal protection of the population in Germany. Volunteer work by people with a wide variety of capabilities and knowledge in the relevant organisations is therefore one of the cornerstones of Germany’s security architecture. Volunteers keep both public bodies (the association of
volunteer working groups from the disaster assistance management units and facilities in Germany (ARKAT), fire services and the Federal Agency for Technical Relief (THW)) and private relief organisations (the Workers’ Samaritan Federation (ASB), the German Life Saving Association (DLRG), the German Red Cross (DRK), the Order of St. John accident assistance organisation (JUH) and the Order of Malta relief service (MHD)) running. In other words, without active civic involvement, civil protection would be unthinkable in Germany.

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Do Your Part

Which volunteer role suits me? Find out by answering 18 questions on your individual strengths and preferences. Whether you are interested in dogs or want to become a drone pilot, you can find out here which aid organisation for civil protection best suits your interests.





Nature conservation, health, or rescue and disaster control? Below, you can find an overview of the areas in which you might like to volunteer. Choose from 22 different subjects all over Germany and find out how varied volunteering options in Germany are.



Visit us to learn more about the Federal Office of Civil Protection and Disaster Assistance: